This poultry farm saved me from the worries of life

Zakira lives in the Wali Aser region of Mazar-e-Sharif city with her five children — two sons and three daughters. Mazar-e-Sharif is currently experiencing crisis levels food insecurity, with thousands of families struggling to get by. Zakira’s husband died two years ago, after contracting Covid-19, leaving her the family’s sole breadwinner.

Last year Zakira joined a Hand in Hand Self-Help Group named Hadaf, along with a group of local women. She received business skills training from their female group leader as well as specific training on layer poultry farming. This included nutrition and feed formulation, and how to find a market for her eggs. After her training was complete, and armed with her first business plan, Zakira received a ‘start up kit’ of layer chickens, feed and a chicken coop.

Zakira has now increased her flock to 34 chickens, and can produce around 20 eggs a day. She earns AFN 6,000 (USD 67) a month selling her eggs at the local market. As eggs are a valuable source of protein Zakira knows she will always be able to give her children a nutritious meal.

Zakira says, “I and my children often slept with an empty stomach, but this poultry farm which I started with support from Hand in Hand Afghanistan saved me a lot from the worries of life and made me very comfortable.

“This small business brought a lot of changes in my life, such as having enough food for my children, providing clothes and school stationery and meeting our basic household needs. This is a huge happiness for us. I am now hopeful for a better future for me and my children. I wish to become a businesswoman in the future and expend my business by raising both layer and broiler chickens.”

Members trained: 50,273

Our members in Afghanistan often start with no income. By the time they’re done training, they’ve topped the national average

Businesses started: 43,407

Hand in Hand Afghanistan entrepreneurs run poultry farms, cultivate honey, weave carpets and more

Jobs created: 47,743

Jobs equal development. Our entrepreneurs make their own success, breaking the cycle of dependency

Lives improved: 325,370

Every business we help create in Afghanistan benefits an average of seven family members – young, old and everywhere in between